Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Started Jan 17, 2007 | Discussions
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Heater Forum Member • Posts: 80
Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

One of my favorite things to photograph is the local RTH population near where I work. Today I was testing a new-to-me 300mm AF-S II f/2.8 (Love that lens!) and came across this RTH making a lunch out of a smaller bird of prey. They are very wary and he flew off as I approached, that's when I snapped this. I've seen them go after pigeons but I would have thought a perigrine would be able to get away. Guess not.

D2x, 300mm af-s 2.8, kenko 1.4x
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John_I Veteran Member • Posts: 6,142
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Heater wrote:

One of my favorite things to photograph is the local RTH population
near where I work. Today I was testing a new-to-me 300mm AF-S II
f/2.8 (Love that lens!) and came across this RTH making a lunch out
of a smaller bird of prey. They are very wary and he flew off as I
approached, that's when I snapped this. I've seen them go after
pigeons but I would have thought a perigrine would be able to get
away. Guess not.
D2x, 300mm af-s 2.8, kenko 1.4x

Unbelievable shot! But I guess if it warm-blooded and moves, it's food. Thanks for posting. I have trouble tracking hawks in flight visually through the viewfinder, let alone getting a shot!

John in Toronto
JBIPix Photoblog - http://jbipix.blogspot.com

Rakesh Dhareshwar Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Wow ! Wow ! One of the best nature action pics I have seen in a long time ! Hats off !!!
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drip01
drip01 Senior Member • Posts: 2,710
Unbelievable indeed !!!

Never seen that before, would have never thought. I guess it's a dog eats dog, fish eats fish kinda world ... Next day you may see an eagle snatching the hawk, spooky!

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Fritz Wilhelm
Fritz Wilhelm Contributing Member • Posts: 709
Truly amazing.

Congratulations to this incredible shot. I just got this lens also. It is great.

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John Okner Regular Member • Posts: 198
looks like

a kestral to me

wild photo

Dom_S Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Wow! I've never seen anything like that. I have a pair of Red Tails that hunt the treeline in my back yard sometimes, but they usually take ground dwellers. Nice job getting that shot.

I just picked up the 300 2.8 VR myself. Awesome lens.

Fritz Wilhelm
Fritz Wilhelm Contributing Member • Posts: 709
Female Kestrel?

Hi Heater,

The measurements don't seem to fit. The size of the American Kestrel is L9" ws 22", the redtail size is 19" and 49", the Peregrine size is 16" and 41". In other words the Peregrine size is about 85% the size of the redtail, which does not fit with the picture. The Kestrel is about 50% the size of he RTH, which is much closer to what the picture shows. It seems to me that the prey is actually a female Kestrel.
Did you actually see the bird being caught?
http://www.heisingart.com
Fritz

 Fritz Wilhelm's gear list:Fritz Wilhelm's gear list
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digitall Senior Member • Posts: 2,223
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

What an amazing picture! Nature red in tooth an claw indeed.
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Heater OP Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: Female Kestrel?

John & Fritz, thanks for the correction - your eyes are as sharp as the Red Tails!
Kestrels are local to this are also.

No I didn't see it happed, I came across it just after she was caught.

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deanzat Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Wonderful image. I live in Ojai, where RTH are pretty common, and would love to get better at photographing them. I have two questions: 1) do I stand a chance with an 80-200 2.8? and 2) Are you open to a tag-along student studying your technique some day?

Thanks, DZ
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bajwas Senior Member • Posts: 1,190
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Wonderful shot.Thanks for sharing.

Sohail

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azguy
azguy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,580
Re: Red Tail Hawk vs. Perigrine Falcon (D2x w/300mm f2.8)

Great capture, and good example of what that lens can do in the right hands.
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JohnE
Equipment list in profile

jeminijoseph Veteran Member • Posts: 5,851
Cool shot
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Thanks
Jemini Joseph

http://www.wildbirdimages.com

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Jim Fenton Veteran Member • Posts: 4,432
Great Shot and Kestrel or Merlin

Superb catch first off.

I originally thought that it was a kestrel (definitely not a peregrine) but upon closer review, it appears that it may well be a first year Merlin.

Larger than a kestrel and smaller than a peregrine and the underside appears to be correctly colored / marked for a female up here in New England at least.
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Jim Fenton
http://www.pbase.com/soonipi1957
D2Xs

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Peter Patricelli Regular Member • Posts: 329
Agree with Jim Fenton

I vote Merlin, immature.

Great shot. To get a shot like that one has to be INCREDIBLY lucky, or out there all the time honing skills and putting in the hours......and then just plain lucky. Congrats.
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Peter Patricelli
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Heater OP Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: Great Shot and Kestrel or Merlin

Jim,

Thanks. Kestrels are native to this area but I've never seen or heard of a Merlin around here (Southern California). Kestrels have the 2 vertical band near the eye that seem to be on the one in the picture. ????

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Heater OP Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: Agree with Jim Fenton

Peter,

Thanks. I guess I'm a closet birder. The area I work at is an old military base with lots of land and quite a few RTH's sharing the area. I've seen a family of 3 soaring right over my office and I know a lot of their favorite roosts. And yes, I was rather lucky yesterday as well.
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Peter Patricelli Regular Member • Posts: 329
Definitely a Kestrel according to birder forum

I passed the pic along to a birder forum and the instant unanimous response was that it is (was) a Kestrel, first year female. I was bothered that the size was a bit small for a Merlin, but stand corrected.
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Peter Patricelli
http://www.flyfishingfotography.com

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